How Long Marijuana Lasts in Your System

How Long Marijuana Lasts in Your System

How long marijuana remains in your system depends on the potency level of the THC in the marijuana you consume and how often you consume it. Higher THC means it lasts longer.
Jared Rosenthal
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How Long Marijuana Lasts in Your System

The length of time that marijuana stays in your system is highly variable, and depends on factors including the THC potency in the weed you consume. Most people don’t realize that if they use weed with a higher THC level, it will stay in their bodies for a longer period of time.

Think about it using this analogy to alcohol: if you consume stronger drinks, you stay drunk longer. One strong beer at 10% ABV is equivalent to 3 light beers at 3.3% ABV. It’s similar with marijuana. If you’re smoking high THC weed, say 15%, then it will last a lot longer than 5% THC weed. The frequency of use also matters; heavy marijuana smokers who quit will retain THC metabolites in their urine for a month or longer.

I recently tested a guy who just got out of prison for 60 days. He came to me because he needed to stay clean or go back to jail. He hadn’t used in prison, or in the one week since he got out, yet he tested positive for marijuana. Shocked, I asked him to tell me the honest truth. He told me that he was using butane hash oil at 60 to 80% THC prior to getting locked up, and he hadn’t touched it since. Assuming he was being truthful, which I have no reason to doubt, that means that the THC stayed in his urine for well beyond what most people believe is possible.

Detecting THC in the urine after two months of non-use is unprecedented. Even hard street drugs like cocaine are gone from the urine in about 5 days, maybe 7 max, regardless of frequency and amount of use. However, the trend of increasing THC in products like sincemilla and BHO is obliterating the commonly accepted logic of how long one needs to remain clean to pass a drug test. We’re often asked, “Does weed show up in a urine drug test?” Well, it’s not as easy to answer that question as it used to be. In short, potency matters.

You can test yourself to check if marijuana comes up in your urine (or hair) with either of these related services:

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Sources

This article was prepared with my own experience running Health Street, a drug testing company that performs thousands of tests per year. I also researched articles such as these sources:

  • Hallett, Alison (2013-03-28). “How Hash Oil Is Blowing Up Across the U.S. — Literally | Underwire”. Wired.com. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  • “Why Does Cannabis Potency Matter?”. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. 2009-06-29.

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